Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pen-y-Ghent Walk Sunday 28 October 2012

A 6.4 mile walk with 1650 feet of ascent over Pen-y-Ghent

It was raining quite hard when we arrived to meet up in Horton in Ribblesdale for Ryedale Walking Group's second ever walk over Pen-y-Ghent. We last came here on a much brighter day in October 2008, and I was the only member walking today who had completed the 2008 walk.

Our route on 28 October 2012
Four cars had driven to Horton. Terry, our newest member who joined the group that day, had driven from York. There was Geoff who had driven from Pickering in his own car, as after the walk he was returning to his home in Malvern.  In my car I had our other new member Annie from Rosedale, Club Membership Secretary Nick from Scarborough and Robin from Kirkbymoorside. In the other car driven by Steve our Club Website Manager from Bulmer, we had members Pam from Scarborough, Ann from Malton and prospective member Becca also from Malton.  After leaving Pickering at 8.15am we arrived at Horton, parking in the Golden Lion Pub Car Park (Honesty Box £2 per car). Before venturing on to a wet hillside we visited the Pen-y-Ghent cafe, home of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Club. We were surprised to find that the establishment does not have a  toilet, which meant we had to use the public toilets near the bridge about 200m away.

Archive photo Ryedale Walking Group as it was in 2008 on Pen-y-Ghent
Walk Leader Geoff on Little Mell Fell in January 2012
The idea behind this walk was to give members of the group an idea of how difficult the first part of the climb is on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk. This is a 25 mile walk over the summits of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough which should be completed within 12 hours. 
We left Horton at 11.10am in rain, and it never stopped raining throughout the walk with gale force winds once we were above 1500 feet.  We had agreed that Geoff would lead the walk up to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent, whilst I would back mark. At the top we would then change roles.
The leading group reached the summit within 67 minutes, with me and the last straggler bringing up the rear in 95 minutes. After Radio Hams Nick, Terry and Phil had made a few contacts on amateur radio for SOTA from the summit we continued down to Hunt Pot which provided a little shelter to have our lunch.  It was too wet to take photos so I will have to rely a picture from the archive from when we were last here in 2008:

RWG at Hunt Pot in October 2008
We continued on to the path junction north of Tarn Bar and made our way from here up to Hull Pot. Despite how wet it had been there was no water flowing into the hole which was most surprising. The previous times I had visited here there was a good flow creating a spectacular waterfall, but not today. This lack of water in Hull Pot Beck means that Horton Moor must at present be acting like a massive sponge. 

L-R: Phil-Annie-Robin-Terry-Nick-Geoff-Becca-Pam-Ann (Thanks to Steve for taking the photo)
The walk from Hull Pot back to Horton is a walled track and we were back in the cafe for tea (some had pint mugs) at 2.40pm. We said our goodbyes on the car park of The Golden Lion with five of us heading back to Pickering in my car for fish and chips in Capplemans Cafe, where we were joined by my wife Judy who was unable to walk today due to her heel blister, earned on Wainwright's Pennine Journey a few weeks previously.

We'd got well soaked on our walk over Pen-y-Ghent but this did not put off Terry and Annie joining Ryedale Walking Group on the day. I guess they must have enjoyed it. Thank you to Geoff for leading the first section of the walk. 

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